One Nashville school is offering a new opportunity for the more than 2,000 autoworkers who could be affected by the Spring Hill General Motors plant going idle in a few months.
For now, GM employees are hard at work building the Chevy Traverse at the Spring Hill plant, but many will be laid off when the facility is idled in November.
Spring Hill UAW Local 1853 Chairman Mike Herron says he suspects about 2,200 people will be laid off at that time.
The Salon Professional Academy in Nashville is reaching out to autoworkers, offering a scholarship to those who may want to leave the assembly line for a new line of work.
Lessie Pruitt, co-owner of The Salon Professional Academy, says the school is offering a $5,000 scholarship off the $16,990 tuition for the cosmetology program.
She says their 10-month cosmetology program has a 94% placement rate at top salons.
“Across the United States, the average compensation for a cosmetologist is $50,000,” Pruitt said.
Herron said, “We're deeply appreciative, in fact we're looking for opportunities for our members, and any opportunity that we can come up with that's going to be beneficial and improve their skill sets.”
It may seem like a big departure from the typical skill set used by autoworkers.
Herron said, “With 3,000 people here at this location, you're going to have quite a variety of people who have different interests.”
Pruitt says it's an opportunity to reach out to people losing jobs in her own backyard.
“We want to change people's lives. We want to change their careers, and who better to start with than the people who are in our surrounding areas,” she said.
The academy has five program start dates throughout the year.
The next one is September 15, and there is another one in November.
The Salon Professional Academy is located on Old Lebanon Road in the Donelson area.
For more information about the program and how to apply, visit the school's Web site.
- July 1, 2009: Bredesen says state offered GM $20 million
- June 29, 2009: Maury Co. seeks funds for unemployed GM workers
- June 25, 2009: Leaders disappointed but say Spring Hill plant will prevail
- June 25, 2009: Tenn.'s bid for small car not what GM asked for, governor says
- June 22, 2009: Spring Hill GM decision could come any day
- June 17, 2009: Bidding war begins to secure GM small car production
- June 12, 2009: GM wants cash up front to bring small car to Tenn.
- June 11, 2009: Governor says GM wants cash to bring small car to Spring Hill
- June 8, 2009: Supreme Court delays Chrysler sale, local dealers in limbo
- June 5, 2009: Spring Hill now aims fight at new car
- June 2, 2009: Spring Hill mayor optimistic for GM plant future
- June 1, 2009: Maury Co. leaders say they've survived 'harder blows'
- June 1, 2009: GM announcement expected to hurt Spring Hill real estate
- June 1, 2009: Corvette plant survives GM cuts
- June 1, 2009: Uncertainty remains among Spring Hill business owners
- June 1, 2009: GM idling production at Spring Hill plant
- May 31, 2009: Expected bankruptcy declaration worries GM workers
- May 29, 2009: Banker who helped bring GM to Maury Co. reflects on past
- May 28, 2009: Spring Hill's future waits on GM's word
- May 28, 2009: Spring Hill GM workers vote for new contract
- May 27, 2009: Bankruptcy seems inevitable for GM
- May 26, 2009: Spring Hill residents worry, wait for GM news
- May 25, 2009: Spring Hill GM workers wait to learn plant's fate
- May 15, 2009: GM won't renew franchise with Team Chevrolet
- May 14, 2009: Chrysler cuts ties with several Tenn. dealers
- April 27, 2009: GM's plan to cut 21,000 causes concern in Spring Hill
- April 22, 2009: GM to shut many U.S. plants up to 9 weeks
- April 20, 2009: Some Spring Hill automakers could lose jobs
- April 6, 2009: Worry over GM's future continues in Spring Hill
- March 30, 2009: Uncertainty worries workers at Spring Hill GM plant
- March 16, 2009: GM workers return to Spring Hill plant
- March 2, 2009: Spring Hill GM plant suspends production, again
- Feb. 18, 2009: Auto workers confront Corker during visit to Columbia
- Feb. 17, 2009: GM to cut 47,000 jobs, close 5 plants
- Feb. 12, 2009: Corker gets UAW Valentine, says workers are 'misguided'
- Dec. 19, 2008: GM worker in Spring Hill relieved over auto bailout
- Dec. 15, 2008: Community worries about GM plant shutdown
- Dec. 13, 2008: Small business owners ponder Spring Hill's future
- Dec. 12, 2008: GM extends holiday in Spring Hill due to production slowdown
- Nov. 18, 2008: Automakers plead for $25 billion lifeline
- Nov. 7, 2008: Spring Hill avoids GM layoffs, for the most part